When you’re a wedding planner, people think that your job is so much “fun”(!!!), playing in pretty dresses and linens, picking lush flowers for a centerpiece and choosing delectable seven tiered wedding cakes. Many don’t view this line of “work” as work at all, let alone hard work. While I and my colleagues know that nothing could be further from the truth, the following post will not help my case.
In June, I attended the Engage!09 Luxury Wedding Business Summit in Grand Cayman, which is the brainchild of Rebecca Grinnals and Kathryn Arce of Engaging Concepts. There, wedding professionals from literally across the globe were gathered to hear from experts such as the Wizard of Ahh’s himself, event designer Preston Bailey, wedding cake coutourier Sylvia Weinstock, the fabulous Marcy Blum as well as editors of some of your favorite magazines such as The Knot, Brides, Modern Bride & Elegant Bride, as well as Martha Stewart Weddings. The second day, we were able to have small group sessions with industry builders and advancers like former president of Preston Bailey Designs, Sean Low, Randy Fenoli of TLC’s “Say Yes To the Dress” and Kleinfeld Bridal, beauty and brains Harmony Walton of The Bridal Bar (be sure to visit their new Bridal Bar Location in Atlanta, too!), the incomparable Michelle Rago, Bee Kim, the mastermind behind Wedding Bee, “style obsessed” Abby Larson of Style Me Pretty and so many more. It was also great to see and support good friends who served as panelists as well like Liene Stevens of Think Splendid and Lara Casey of Southern Weddings and the new Lara Casey Reps.
As planner, and being naturally fabulous, I had all of my outfits planned—with a few wardrobe changes in between (yes, I’m serious…I ran into Randy Fenoli at one of the dinner parties and he exclaimed, ‘”Girl! Did you change again!?”). So imagine my horror when my luggage was delayed prior to the conference’s welcome party on the beach. So there I was, stuck with what I had on since 4AM and what I like to call my “TSA approved 1 quart ziploc makeup bag”. I shudder as I reminisce… Nevertheless, it turned out wonderfully! I had a fabulous roommate—Monica of The White Box of Wedding Design, and her husband was equally fabulous— I had a cosmo and creme brulee delivered to my room as a gift for, and I quote “Taking care of his baby” while we were in Grand Cayman. I know. I should ask them to adopt me. Monica was fabulous—we sat up most of the nights talking (sometimes via Skype with her husband) and laughing!
The parties were absolutely gorgeous—it was so nice to be on the receiving end of great linens, design concept, florals and live music for a change. It was funny, because during the beach party (which was literally on the beach, with a tiffany blue carpet to strut on and shoe valet), something dropped and I remember laughing as I and about 10 other wedding planners and vendors all raced to fix it and replace it before it was noticed. Part of the job! It was also great to meet friends I talk to daily but don’t get a chance to see often (some I had never met in person until now!) and those that I consider friends after falling in love with them over martinis and 1 AM fries. Yes, this totally includes my new BFF, Michael Landry of Gucci. Michael and I met serendipitously over a Tortuga rum cake tasting, and I was just as lucky to have gone on to dinner with him and other professional at the exclusive dine-arounds, which ours was hosted by Randy Fenoli (Be sure to check out Randy???s recap that includes pictures our dinner and fun times).
Ok, so enough chatting…how about some pictures?
You know I’m a total foodie—had to get pictures of our lunch!
Gorgeous arrangements and linen from La Tavola Linen were staples of the conference
Marcy Blum, Michelle Rago and Preston Bailey and myself
The final night of the conference was a stunning party with lighting, draping, huge hanging decor…you know, the things that a wedding planner or designer’s dreams are made of!
love this picture, because it pretty much sums up the night—fabulous shoes (noticeably off due to all the dancing) and an empty champagne glass!